Autocratic Leadership Essay

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An autocratic leader will always be successful in an organisation.
What is autocratic leadership?
Leadership is, writes Shackleton (1995), about recognising a goal and having the motivational power to influence a group towards achieving that goal. Successful leadership therefore means that this goal is achieved by the leader and their group. There are many different means and styles of leadership, one of which is by autocratic means. Autocratic leadership is based upon an approach whereby the manager retains the maximum amount of power that they can. All decisions are derived from this leader and no consultation takes place. We shall examine the applicability of an autocratic leadership style in contemporary organisations and also look at some alternative styles.
Autocratic leadership
Is a more traditional and classical approach to management relying upon threats and punishment to influence its employees. – something which Beardwell and Holden (2001) would call a "hard" approach to leadership. This method, according to UT (2001) is effective for many reasons;
• When there is limited time to make a decision
• When there are new and untrained employees who do not know how to perform certain tasks
• When effective supervision can be provided only by orders and instruction
• When employees do not respond to other leadership styles
• When work must be integrated with other departments
Mintzberg (1979) described situations in which an autocratic style was most applicable. Entrepreneurial organisations are normally smaller businesses which develop from the ideas and entrepreneurial spirit of one person. This person is responsible for their organisation and makes all the decisions – the characteristics of an autocrat. The nature of these smaller organisations and the relative lack of formalisation mean that autocratic leadership is commonplace in this particular part of industry. These organisations typically operate in rapidly changing environments with limited...

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